The Great Aural Interplay 16

by Connie Shen

A grip of blind dates betwixt a grip of musicians
[it seemed like a good idea at the time]
TOKiMONSTA interviewed by Ólafur Arnalds

The First Lady of Brainfeeder has officially fled the nest. Her roots may still be firmly planted in the cool, dark entrails of the L.A. beat scene, but make no mistake: Tokimonsta is flapping like a crazed pigeon for sound slaughter. Her second full-length LP Half Shadows was released on Ultra music label, home to electronic heavy hitters David Guetta, Deadmau5, and Calvin Harris and an unlikely place to find an artist like Toki. But that’s the point, right? For those dreamy electronic beats to be heard outside the walls of the Low End Theory, on stages most unexpected.

Ólafur Arnalds: Do you see inspiration as something spiritual or do you see it as just a fancy word for being in the right mood for creativity? TOKiMONSTA: I see inspiration as a fancy word. It’s become somewhat of a pretentious term to me, especially in regards to creating music. It seems silly to say that I find a cheeseburger inspiring just because I happened to make a great song after eating at In-N-Out.

Do you have any tricks to induce creativity? Not really. I suppose I just need to be in the right mood. I’ve learned over the years that my music never sounds right when I try to force myself to be creative.

What do you think about fans who download your music illegally? It’s not the greatest feeling because you are essentially getting robbed. However, music isn’t really about monetary gain and if a person can discover my music by bootlegging it off some torrent site, I’d rather have them do that than not to listen at all.

What are you wearing? Zebra patterned shorts and some terrible T-shirt. I came home a little tipsy last night and this combo ended up being my pajamas (which I’m still wearing at 5:30 p.m.).

Photographer: Guy Lowndes at GuyLowndes.com. Stylist: Jimi Urquiaga for Dgreps.com. Hair: Caile Noble for jedroot.com. Makeup: Miho Suzuki at mihomakeup.com.